During the months of January and February, a dry an arid wasteland forms in the world of sports leaving sports fanatics thirsty for something more. This is a time when people like myself, who are not fans of the NBA or the NHL or soccer of any kind, wind up settling for NFL playoff games to get by.
The landscape burns, with the hot realization that nothing on ESPN is worth watching. It is scorched with the heat of arrogant NBA players, combined with the theatrics of professional hockey and the tediousness of professional soccer. Yes, it is truly a sports desert.
The main enemy in the sports desert is the sun, which beats down on the weary sports fan with its blinding heat. That “sun” is the NBA.
The NBA has become, in this sports editor’s humble opinion, represents some of the greats that came out of it. When you consider the efforts of players like Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird, Bill Russell, John Stockton and others, compared to the lackluster organization the league has crumbled to, tears should form in the eyes of basketball fans. This is the obsession of our generation with the celebrity status of many a sports star.
Hockey and soccer are just the opposite. There is too much defense. Consider the final scores of a typical game of either soccer or hockey. A few days ago, I was surprised to see on the bottom line of ESPN that a hockey team had managed to score five goals. Soccer seems to be an hour-and-a-half long battle over a ball that ends either in a scoreless draw or with one team “clobbering” the other, 2-0.
The sand stretches before us, and the oasis of the beginning of baseball season and the return of summer reaches long into the distant future. We are in a sports desert, yes, but at least we have the Super Bowl and March Madness to look forward to. Bright spots in a world otherwise devoid of entertaining sports.